Thursday, December 31, 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed my winter break and all the extra time with my daughter. I know, however, that very soon we will be back to our normal routine. I am already lucky enough to be able to be home before 5 pm almost every evening. I accomplish this by starting my work day at 7 am, so I can be out of the office by 4 pm.

By mid December I felt rushed and almost depressed. It felt that I am trying to fit too much into too little time we have. There were all the blog carnivals that I felt compelled to participate in, all the interesting ideas, all the little projects that seemed cute, but quite often backfired when my tired self crossed paths with my cranky no-nap-that-day daughter. So I spent some time in reflection to reevaluate what works and yet again focus on outcomes:

  1. I want to have a quality time with my child that is enjoyable for us, and I want to try new things once in a while.
  2. I don’t really have to do as much arts and crafts as we’ve been doing. Anna’s preschool is all arts-and-play, they do beautiful art there every day – same projects, actually, that I see on the blogs quite often. I can just refill her “make it” box and see if she has a fancy to do something, but I need to take it off my internal agenda.
  3. I want to focus on what I do best and what she does best. I am good at academics, and that’s what I will teach her. We will continue on our “learning to read in 15 minutes a day” journey, we will do more math and logic, because we are “in the flow” when we do these kinds of things together.
  4. I will not focus on writing, because I can see clearly that she is not ready and not interested. As with many other things with my daughter, she mastered things seemingly in one day when that day came. However, I plan to spend a lot of time on storytelling. I love to write down her stories and look at the world through her eyes.
  5. I want to show her the world as much as I can. I am very excited to receive the first postcards from Geography Postcards Exchange, and ours are finally on their way. I want to take my daughter on a virtual journey through countries and continents this year. I was going back and forth between doing US deep-dive first and decided against it. Honestly, I want my child to be a citizen of Planet Earth first and an American citizen second.
  6. I want to spend more time out of house, especially once the longer days return. I was torn this year – wanting to do something to blog about vs. just going for a walk around the neighborhood with my daughter. I am not going to be conflicted this year. I want her to meet the other kids in the neighborhood, to take up dancing and to make it to the library story time as often as we can.

So what will it all mean for this blog? Mostly, I am not sure if I will be blogging every day. I usually write some posts in advance and schedule them, but I will not worry if I run out of posts once in a while. Of course, I will continue to host What My Child Is Readingbooks have always been and will always be a very important part of our days. I will continue to share the materials that we are using, the toys and the games we are playing. I have never been compensated for any of my reviews outside of Amazon Associates program, and I don’t foresee it change in the future. All the reviews I do is only because I like sharing things that work for us. You can probably expect more posts about math and logic and fewer posts about arts and crafts. And I will try to come up with a geography-related post once every week as we go on our virtual globe-trotting adventures. I am already collecting materials for them (for adventures, not for blog posts :))

Happy New Year, my blogging friends! Let 2010 be a peaceful, happy and productive year for your families.


Debbie said...

I can't agree with you more! I enjoyed taking a couple of weeks off here, not worrying about blog carnivals, making sure I had something new to blog about all the time.

I will of course begin again to participate in your carnival, and getting the geography Post Card Exchange going, I am not sure myself what I will participate in.

Have a Happy New Year!

Jana said...

Refocusing, I am constantly doing that. Homeschooling is ever changing.

Susana said...

Natalie, you know I agree with this post and putting things in perspective all over again. I know I had too in a big way, and it was so for the better for me and for my kids!

Not participating in the carvivals, not worrying about post content and so forth has been wonderful!

I wouldn't be inclined to do nearly as many crafts in our home if Joe was in Preschool, so you should "let yourself off the hook" with that one:-)!

I also wouldn't have half the posts that I do if it weren't for including what we do in our homeschool!!

Living life as a family and making the most of every moment together is what matters most, not your blog posts, commments or follower count:-).

Happy New Year Natalie and thank you so much for your friendship!!

The Harris Family said...

I struggle with this to and thanks for the reminder that it isn't all about blogging but time we spend with our kids. To often my thoughts are what can we do to put on the blog...not the best idea.

Ticia said...

I can't wait to see more about your math and logic, it's an area I don't always have as many ideas as I'd like.
I can't wait to see what you're doing with the globe-trotting adventures. We're doing the opposite because the US is more personal for my kids. But you have an international child who has ties all over, so do what's right for you.


MaryAnne said...

This sounds like a great plan for your year! Emma also seems to do things in one day once she decides to do them, and I've learned to just wait until that moment arrives. I look forward to reading your blog posts, however frequently they happen ;)

Happy New Year!

The girl who painted trees said...

In light of the new year, I also have decided to blog as it happens, instead of making the blogging happen, so to speak. I can't wait to get ideas for math and logic and geography. I don't mind infrequent or irregular posts! I love when you talk about the things you use with Anna.

Happy New Year!

Elise said...

The new year is a perfect time for personal reflection and I have also been doing a lot of this, especially when it comes to the activities that we do and how we go about completing them. I think the decisions you have made are going to pay dividends.

This year, I plan on participating in some blog carnivals, but I am not putting any pressure on myself to contribute every week. The blog posts will happen when they happen!

I am looking forward to what you will be able to share in terms of maths and logic - not my strong point!

I agree with you in terms of quality over quantity when it comes to toys. Baufix sounds like something we would be very interested in. I like that it is versatile, open ended and durable. Thanks for the heads up about it not being ideal for sharing with closely spaced siblings.

I hope 2010 is a peaceful year for you and your family, a year that is filled with laughter and good health.